Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Aston Martin Sports Car

A review of The Aston Martin Sports Car, covering development, important features, and technical data of each model in the range, from the DB1 to the Virage.

In this Article, I offer a nostalgic look at the Aston Martin Sports Car, one of an elite group of classic cars, which was manufactured during the period 1948 to 1995.

In 1925, having gone into receivership, the company was reformed as Aston Martin Cars.

In 1947, David Brown Limited not only acquired the Company, but also purchased Lagonda, the luxury car maker.
The Aston Martin Sports Car

The Aston Martin Sports Car

The Aston Martin Sports Car

The Aston Martin Sports Car

The Aston Martin Sports Car

Hence the birth of the legendary DB sports car.

The Aston Martin DB1

In 1948, the DB1 sports car made its debut at that years London Motor Show.

Previously known as the 2-Litre Sports, it was a two seater, using a tubular chassis, and powered by the companies' own 2 litre engine.

Only 15 were produced since it as felt that this classic car was underpowered.

The Aston Martin DB2

In 1950, the DB2 sports car was launched. It was a two seater, fixed head coupe.

Although the DB1 had a 2 litre, 4-cylinder, pushrod engine, the DB2 used a 2.6 litre, 6-cylinder, double overhead cam unit, derived from the Lagonda. A drop head coupe version was added later.

An optional DB2 engine used two larger carburettors and a higher compression ratio.

Such high performance cars were called Vantage editions. The DB2 was highly successful in racing.

The Aston Martin DB2/4

Based on the DB2 it replaced, the Mark 1 version of the DB2/4 was launched in 1953.

It was offered as a two seater fixed head coupe, and drop head coupe, plus a 2+2 hatchback.

Initially, it used the same Lagonda engine as the DB2, but uprated to 125 bhp. However, later that year, the 2.9 litre version, developing 140 bhp, was used instead.

In 1955, the DB2/4 Mark 2 was introduced, which used a large valve, high compression Lagonda engine, developing 165 bhp.

In 1957, the Db2/4 Mark 2 was replaced by the DB2/4 Mark 3.

Otherwise known as the DB Mark 3, it was available as a two seater fixed headcoupe, a drop head coupe, and a 2+2 hatchback.

The standard "DBA" 2.9 litre Lagonda engine, fitted with two SU carburettors, developed 162 bhp.

With an optional dual exhaust system, this would increase to 178 bhp.

However, an optional "DBB" engine, with three twin choke Webber carburettors, special camshafts, and a high compression head, developed 195 bhp.

An alternative mid level "DBD" option, with three SU carburettors, developed 180 bhp.

This classic car was described as "a car for connoisseurs".

The Aston Martin DB4

In 1958, the DB4 sports car was introduced at the London Motor Show, and caused a sensation.

It was available as a two seater fixed head coupe, a drop head coupe, and a 2+2 hatchback.

The DB4 had a restyled body, using a tubular frame, and with a 3.7 litre, twin overhead cam, straight 6-cylinder engine, with two SU carburettors.

The DB4 convertible appeared in 1962.

The DB4 GT, launched in 1959, was a high performance version of the DB4.

It had two spark plugs per cylinder, two distributors, as well as three twin choke Webber carburettors.

In 1961, the high performance DB4 Vantage was fitted with three SU carburettors, and a special cylinder head.

The Aston Martin DB5

In 1963, the latest addition was the enigmatic DB5 sports car.

It was available as a two door convertible, a 2+2 hatchback, and a unique, very limited edition, Shooting Brake.

The main difference between the DB5 and its predecessor was that the all aluminium engine was increased from 3.7 to 4 litres, and used three SU carburettors.

A high performance DB5 Vantage appeared in 1964, with three Webber twin choke carburettors, and a modified camshaft.

The Aston Martin DB6

In 1965, the DB5 was replaced by the DB6 sports car. It was available as a two door 2+2, and a four seater convertible.

As with the DB5, the standard DB6 engine was the twin overhead cam, in line 6-cylinder, with three carburettors, developing 282 bhp.

There was also the optional high performance Vantage model, with three Webber carburettors, and a high compression head.

In 1966, a convertible was offered, known as the DB6 Volante.

A very limited edition Shooting Brake variant was available with the same choice of engines.

The Aston Martin DBS

In 1967, the DBS sports car was launched. It was available as a two door fixed head coupe, and used the same engine as the DB6.

In 1969, the DBS was produced with a 5.3 litre, V8 engine, and was designated the DBS V8.

It was, at that time, the fastest four seater production can in the world. The DBS was used in a number of James Bond films.

The Aston Martin V8

In 1969, the Aston Martin V8 sports car was introduced. A two door, fixed head coupe, it was, in essence, a restyled DBS V8.

In 1972, as the 6-cylinder DBS was withdrawn, the DBS V8 became, simply, the Aston Martin V8, with Bosch fuel injection.

In 1973, the Series 3 model reverted back to four, twin choke Webber carburettors.

Finally, in 1986, the V8 Series 5 was launched, with fuel injection being reintroduced. A Volante variant was also available.

The Aston Martin Virage

In 1989, the Virage sports car made its debut.

It was available as a two door, 2+2 fixed head coupe. Its styling was more akin to a Lagonda than the Aston Martin V8 it replaced.

Once again, the 32 valve, 5.3 litre, V8 fuel injected engine was used. An upgrade to 349 bhp became available in 1996.

In 1992, Aston Martin Cars offered a conversion facility to upgrade existing models from 5.3 to 6.3 litres. This produced the Virage 6.3 model.

Also, in 1992, the Virage Volante was introduced in a 2+2 format. It used the 5.3 litre engine.

In 1993, the high performance Virage Vantage was launched. It was powered by the 5.3 litre engine with twin superchargers.

In 1998, the engine was further uprated to 600 bhp for use in the 1998 model.

This marked the end of the classic Aston Martin sports car.

Beyond 2000, Aston Martin Cars produced a number of exciting sports cars which, sadly, falls beyond the time frame of this review.

Perhaps this stroll down memory lane might have answered, or at least shed light on, a possible question:

Which Aston Martin Sports Car Is Your Favourite?

However, should this question still remain unanswered, I will be reviewing, in some detail, in future articles within this website, the entire range of Aston Martin sports cars which were featured in the memorable era spanning

1948 to 1995.

I hope you join me in my nostalgic travels down "sports car memory lane".

If you would care to view my Original article, containing Photographs, Videos, Technical Data, and Charts not shown in this Article, then please click the following link:

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